Introduction to Industrial Engineering

By Jane M. Fraser

Chapter 4


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4.2 People in an organization

An organization is created to accomplish some mission. The people in that organization also have a vision of what they want the organization to be. Values govern how the people in the organization will get to that vision. Who are the people who do all that?

Consider these examples:

All organizations contain the following four groups of people:

  1. The founder, directors, president, chief executive officer, or entrepreneur. These people determine the mission of the organization and broadly define the types of processes and values the organization will use in achieving that mission.
  2. Managers. These people set up and monitor the processes that will be used to achieve the organizationís mission.
  3. Workers. These people actually do the work of the organization. They make the products and they deliver the services to customers. They are sometimes called line workers.
  4. Support. These people provide the goods and services the workers need that are not part of the mission of the organization, for example, information technology, accounting, and the cafeteria. They are sometimes called staff workers.

Even an organization with one person has these four roles. As I wrote this book, I was acting as the director of my one person organization when I decided to take on the mission of writing an introduction to industrial engineering and to apply for a sabbatical to do so. I was acting as a manager when I decided to write the book on my home computer and when I laid out my schedule, chapter by chapter. I spent most of my time acting as the worker, writing the book. Finally, I was support staff for myself when I set up my computer, my book cases, and my work space so that I could actually focus on the writing.